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It's well known that Russell Crowe likes to win Oscars and occasionally throw phones. But apparently he's not quite as fond of circumcision. The Gladiator star found himself in the middle of a Twitter scandal yesterday for a tweet (that has since been deleted) reading: "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that God requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."
Some of his followers tweeted responses of agreement, but the tide began to turn when Crowe reached out to his Jewish friends (namely, horror film director and producer Eli Roth) with some suspect comments.
Crowe tweeted, "I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats, but stop cutting your babies." Roth seemed to take the comment in stride, writing in response, "You didn't seem to be complaining when I was recutting you this afternoon..."
Others, however, were not amused, especially by Crowe's caricature of the Jewish faith ("funny little hats"). Critical comments came in from followers far and wide. Crowe stuck to his guns, responding with this tweet (which has also been deleted): "I will always stand for the perfection of babies. I will always believe in God, not man's interpretation of what God requires. Last of it, if you feel it is your right to cut things off your babies please unfollow and f**k off; I'll take attentive parenting over barbarism."
By Friday morning the media had picked up the story, prompting Crowe to tweet an apology: "I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities, I'm very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress." He continued, "My personal beliefs aside I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry."